Stop… or I’ll spit

1 08 2007

I am angry. I’m sitting here, being angry, basically just… stewing. I know most of it is hormonal; I’m not stewing ONLY because Jeff and Ethan’s furious coloring is causing the coffee table (which my feet are at this moment resting on) to shake. I’m not that bad. Although the shaking certainly isn’t helping.

But the stewing part that seems to be making things worse stems from the fact that I don’t like to communicate when I’m upset. Let me go off and sulk, ALONE, in a corner for awhile, and pretty soon, I’ll either get over it and come back ready to discuss, or I will have moved on entirely. But do something to upset me, and then try to make me talk about it, and ugh, worse, share my feelings? Uh uh. No way, not me.

Which you would think Jeff would know after three years of marriage. You would also think that given the number of times I’ve gotten upset with him over THIS SAME FREAKING THING, he would, oh, I don’t know, STOP DOING IT? But, nooo, he keeps on doing it, over and over and over again…

You’re wondering, by now, what this “same freaking thing,” this thing that’s got me stewing, actually is, probably. The thing is this: when he and Ethan roughhouse, wrestle, tickle, just plain act like kids and play, there comes a point (usually when Ethan is being tickled or held upside down or both) when Ethan will say, “Pease, Daddy, pease, Daddy, no!” or something to the effect that indicates he wants Jeff to stop. And yet Jeff does not. He continues whatever he’s doing that Ethan’s asked him to cease, all in the name of fun.

I will admit that more often than not, once Ethan has begged Jeff to stop and, thanks to my interference he has, Ethan will immediately ask, “More?” Because he didn’t really want Jeff to stop. I know this. But at the same time, given that Jeff’s got about 125 pounds on the kid and Ethan is therefore at his mercy, if he asks him to stop (especially since he is using the magic word, “pease”), HE SHOULD STOP. I can’t stand to hear Ethan’s little voice ask his daddy so politely to please stop again and again, and go unheard.

I may be overly sensitive to the issue though, since I grew up with a father who, similarly, never once heard my pleas for him to stop tickling me. One can only take so much tickling before it stops being fun, and unfortunately, it is very difficult for the ticklee to convey to the tickler that, yes, I realize that I am laughing, but these are laughs of UTTER UNCOMFORTABLE DISDAIN AND PLEASEJUSTSTOPALREADY! My dad was like this in everything he did; once he got going with, say, some made up story that he was trying to get me to believe, he never gave it up, despite the fact that he’d been trying to get me to believe something completely bogus and untrue for 45 minutes now, and despite the fact that I’d asked him 700 times if he was telling the truth or not.

One such time when he was tickling me and would not quit it, I managed to get out between laughing and gasping for air that if he did not stop, I would spit on him (it didn’t seem so dramatic a solution at the time, as I had been asking him for years and years to stop). It was the only thing I could think of. He, of course, did not stop, and so… right in the face. I spat. And it worked, and that was the end of that hellish game, for good.

Nevertheless, it left me traumatized. And perhaps I overreact when I hear the same thing going on with Jeff and Ethan. Perhaps. But, knowing how much it bothers me, and how I have this past traumatization issue with the same thing, and that I’ve told him all about it, AND THAT I AM PREGNANT AND THEREFORE EVERYTHING I SAY SHOULD BE TAKEN AS IF I AM THE MASTER OF ALL, well… we should not be having this argument still. I should not be yelling at my husband and son for having so much fun with their coloring because it is bothering me. I should not be stewing.



One response

2 08 2007

in my defense, i like to think that i know when ethan REALLY wants me to stop and when he’s just saying it. quite often he’ll say “pease daddy” before i’ve even begun to tickle/rough-house. then i say “please what?” because i haven’t even done anything yet. so sometimes the little voice in the other room isn’t ethan being mauled, it’s just him saying one of his limited vocabulary phrases.

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